North Korea says it has invented hangover-free alcohol

  • 19 January 2016
  • From the section Asia
Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The alcohol reportedly won a medal for "preserving national smack"

North Korean scientists have invented a hangover-free alcohol, according to the Pyongyang Times.

The state newspaper says the "suave" liquor will spare you wincing when you wake, despite boasting 30%-40% alcohol.

The brew is reportedly made from a type of indigenous ginseng called insam and glutinous rice, and cultivated by an organic farming method.

North Korean media is known for making often outlandish claims about its domestic achievements.

Last year, it said medical products containing extracts from the insam plant could cure Mers, Sars and even Aids, NK News reported.

'Highest in medicinal effects'

The Pyongyang Times said the new alcohol "exudes national flavour", without dampening your national fervour the following morning.

Among its other unique selling points, according to the paper - the spirit "is highly appreciated by experts and lovers".

The newspaper article, titled, "Liquor wins quality medal for preserving national smack", says the Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory has been working for years on the elixir.

The drink derives from Kaesong Koryo insam - a natural herb thought to have medicinal properties. According to the Pyongyang Times, replacing sugar with the scorched, glutinous rice removed the bitterness from the insam and, crucially, the hangover.

"Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover," the article reads.

The liquor "has already been registered as a national scientific and technological hit", it adds.

Andray Abrahamian, who travels to North Korea on business for Choson Exchange, told the UK-based North Korean News website that insam liquors were "OK" but he is "not that keen on it as a tasty treat".

"There are some high quality liquors made in North Korea, though in my experience there is no such thing as hangover-free booze anywhere in the world," he said.

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